Today's the day that the formalities come to a conclusion and the NHL's Board of Governors votes on the sale and relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to True North Sports & Entertainment in Winnipeg. It's the ultimate sad/happy day in the hockey world, as Manitobans will be dancing in the streets while the hard core fans in Georgia can't help but feel like they've lost a dear friend.
It's been refreshing to see the outreach undertaken by the Predators, as well as by fans and bloggers, to let Thrashers fans know that there's an exciting team just a little ways up I-24, and that they're 100% welcome to join our fun. So if you see someone on Twitter or Facebook bemoaning the fate of the Thrashers today, make sure to extend condolences, along with a hearty invitation to keep their hockey hunger alive.
Meanwhile, get your morning started with a dose of Barry Trotz, who joined the Thom Abraham Show yesterday to talk about the upcoming NHL Awards, and, in an annual rite of summer, Alexander Radulov:
Then follow after the jump for your morning hockey notes!
The "Toast of Music City" balloting has opened for 2011, and I'd appreciate your vote for OTF as Best Blog in Nashville; just click the banner below to head over there where you can vote daily (click the green button)!
Nashville Predators News
Preds On The Glass: Making the Case for Pekka Rinne to Win the Vezina Trophy
A fail to see any mention here that Pekka is the tallest of the finalists. That works in Presidential races, right?
Northeastern's Greg Cronin To Join Maple Leafs' Coaching Staff - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Toronto's gain is Northeastern University's loss. The Preds have a blueline prospect, Anthony Bitteto, playing there.
Hockey Night in Nashville: Central Division Notes
Robby takes a look around at what the rivals are up to.
Troy Ward Profile | Admirals Roundtable
Ryan looks at another possible candidate for the Admirals' head coaching job.
Nashville Predators are built on coach, GM consistency - The Tennessean
Teams around the league may swap out coaches and GM's all the time, but not Nashville.
Around the NHL
Winnipeg, head hits on Board of Governors agenda - NHL.com
The Board of Governors meets today, and will finally sign off on the relocation of the Thrashers to Winnipeg.
NHLPA exercises option to raise salary cap - CBC
The players, as expected, bumped the cap figure by 5%, which should set the 2011-12 salary cap at around $64 million, with the mid-point (Nashville's "soft ceiling") around $56 million.
Winnipeg passes on Ramsay as coach | ajc.com
As someone (can't recall who) noted on Twitter yesterday, it appears the only ones making the trip from Atlanta to Winnipeg are the players.
Winnipeg GM unsure what sweater will be given to draft picks - The Globe and Mail
I'm thinking they should pull out a plain jersey with a big ? on the chest...
Q and A with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman | ajc.com
The Commish sat down with Atlanta beat writer Chris Vivlamore to close the chapter on Atlanta Thrashers hockey.
Brendan Shanahan tasked with solving NHL’s concussion woes - The Globe and Mail
Shanny prepares for his toughest scrap yet.
2011 NHL Entry Draft Fantasy-Based Top 100 Rankings | The Hockey Writers
Here's a different look at the upcoming draft class, including a sortable table listing projections for offensive potential.
mc79hockey.com - Swap Dundas for Garneau
Some media members poo-pooed the Ryan Smyth to Edmonton talk, saying he'd take away ice time from a younger player and would hinder the team's development. That's just idiotic, they don't have that much NHL talent on their roster.
Nieuwendyk talks about unknown ownership situation and moving forward - The Dallas Morning News
The Stars have some unique challenges and opportunities facing them this summer.
Like E.T., Many NHL Players Interested in Going Home - Edmonton Oilers | PuckUpdate
Steven sees a trend between Smyth, Jaromir Jagr, and Brad Richards.
Scott Nichol, Jamal Mayers and assitant coach Trent Yawney won’t be back — and Wilson’s self-critique | Working the Corners
Our old buddy Scooter's going to have to find a new gig.
Pacioretty Signs Two-year Deal with Habs | All Habs
Max Pacioretty is apparently healing up well from the horrific neck injury suffered against Boston in March.
(Part 2) Talking Toronto Maple Leafs goalies with The Goalie Guild | The Hockey Writers
It looks like the Maple Leafs are transitioning to some young goalies between James Riemer and Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson.
Pittsburgh Penguins To Play Preseason Game In Kansas City - SBNation.com
That spiffy building in K.C. will host another exhibition game this fall.
Tim Thomas puts his best face forward - BostonHerald.com
Now that's cool, Gillettte made a big deal (and charity fundraiser) out of Tim Thomas shaving his playoff beard.